Minnesota's greatest, Michele Bachmann, and several other patriotic congressmen held a presser today announcing the launch of the House Tea Party Caucus! Her office also released a list of inaugural members — some of whom didn't know they'd signed up.
The press conference, led by Reps. Michele Bachmann, Louis Gohmert, Steve King and John Culberson, was just to build publicity for the Tea Party Caucus itself, but also for the very very extremely diverse not-white-at-all diversity within the broader Tea Party Movement.
Here's what that looks like: Of the several tea partiers who spoke from the podium today to praise the creation of the caucus, just one was a white man — Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots. The others? Two African-Americans, a Coumbian [sic], a Brazilian, and several women. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IA) made it clear what he thought the takeaway message should be.
"This should dispel any claims about the tea party," he said. "Because we have people of all backgrounds up here."
Yeah, shut up already, liberals.
Now of course this is a very special day for Michele Bachmann, and her office must have gotten caught up in all the hoopla when it posted a list of 29 inaugural members on Bachmann's website this morning. As FrumForum reports, Bachmann hadn't collected all 29 permission slips yet.
One problem, however: at least two members had not yet agreed to join, and several of the offices were either unaware that their congressman had joined the Tea Party caucus or were not informed that Bachman was going to release their names.
Congressman John Mica's (FL-7) office told FrumForum that their member had not joined the Tea Party caucus. When asked if their boss had joined the caucus, Rep. John Fleming's (LA-4) office told FrumForum: "I don't believe that's the case."
Rep. Gary Miller's (CA-42) office told FrumForum: "We actually don't know" if the member had joined the new caucus.
Other offices said that they were taken off guard by the announcement of the caucus membership list. "It's news to me," said Steve Taylor, press secretary to congressman Todd Akin (MO-2), when asked whether Rep. Akin had joined the Tea Party Caucus. He also seemed unaware that Bachmann's office would release a list of members: "I, as press secretary, was not aware of this list. The press shop… was not consulted about this press release."
"I'm not sure if anyone was told [that Rep. Bachmann would release a list]," said Dave Yonkman, Press Secretary to Rep. Hoekstra.
(Oh look, Akin just appeared as we were writing this post! Good to hear that he's found religion.)
[Image via AP]